Announcements related to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Update on regulatory compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) recognizes that Canadians are facing extraordinary circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that we all need to follow the directions of public health authorities when engaging in our daily activities.

Canada’s laws to protect the environment, human health, and conservation remain in effect. ECCC will continue to enforce laws and regulations in a fair, predictable, and consistent manner, and in the exercise of their discretion, officials will take into account challenges regulatees may face as a result the current pandemic.

Regulated communities are expected to act responsibly under the circumstances in order to prevent or minimize the effects and duration of any non-compliance caused by COVID-19, and to the extent possible should document:

Non-application of inspection requirement under the leak detection and repair program

The Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 allow for the non-application [paragraph 28(1)(c)] of leak detection and repair requirements [sections 29 through 36] where an inspection of equipment would pose a serious risk to human health or safety. Operators of upstream oil and gas facilities are encouraged to follow the advice of public health authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic and exercise judgment to meet the regulatory requirement based on the specific situation at their facilities and considering that the obligation to inspect does not apply if it would pose a serious risk to human health or safety. Where, based on the context of the facility, operators do not conduct an inspection of equipment components operators must make a record as required under subsection 28(2) detailing the circumstances.

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